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Donkees's Journal
Donkees's Journal
March 3, 2019

Thank you to the 13,000 people who came to Brooklyn yesterday to officially launch our campaign

Thank you to the 13,000 people who came to Brooklyn yesterday to officially launch our campaign, the many more who followed along online, and our volunteers who made our rally possible. It was an incredible day. Let's keep the movement going.


March 3, 2019

Bernie Sanders told me to make sure I put this picture on the wall in the Oval Office ...

I told @BernieSanders I was running for President in 2040 & he told me to make sure I put this picture on the wall in the Oval Office 🙌🏽 I told him to make sure he does the same!

March 3, 2019

Jacobin: Bernie Returns Home to Brooklyn

When Bernie Sanders tweeted that he was holding his first 2020 rally in Brooklyn, he said it was to “show Trump and the powerful special interests what they’re up against” in the place where he was “born and bred.”

KATIE HALPER 03.02.2019


For Bernie, the meaning of economic hardship, racial persecution, violence, and trauma were deeply personal, but the lessons he took from them reflect not only the quality of his person but the humane values of the progressive Jewish community that “bred” him. As he told the 2017 graduating class of Brooklyn College, from the stress of his own family’s economic struggles, he has “never forgotten that there are millions of people throughout this country who struggle to put food on the table, pay the electric bill, try to save for their kids’ education or for retirement — people who face painful and stress-filled decisions every single day.” And, from his early exposure to the Holocaust horror, “indelibly stamped on me was the understanding that we must never allow demagogues to divide us up by race, by religion, by national origin, by gender or sexual orientation. Black, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, Christian, Jew, Muslim, and every religion, straight or gay, male or female we must stand together. This country belongs to all of us.”

The struggles Bernie Sanders engages in and values he espouses can be traced back to his experiences in Brooklyn. Sanders only attended Brooklyn College for one year, leaving home for the University of Chicago after his mother died. But he’s been a champion of the free college education he received there and has featured it in his 2016 and 2020 platforms. Since the 1970s, New York and its university system have retreated from their promise to provide free higher education and the path to cultural, educational, and career advancement. Sanders will no doubt remind the city of its better self.

Sanders’s socialist organizing started when he was in Chicago but can be traced back to his experience at Brooklyn College, where his older brother, Larry, headed a progressive student group. He often traveled with Larry to the Lower East Side, engaging in efforts to save poor neighborhoods of color from rampant urban renewal. At Chicago, Sanders’ civil rights engagement was not limited to attending the March on Washington, as some detractors have claimed. He was active in the Young People’s Socialist League and was a campus organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and helmed their University of Chicago chapter. He went undercover to expose housing discrimination and led sit-ins to protest racial discrimination at university-owned properties. At Brooklyn College he engaged this issue again, advancing the universal programs that help all, but especially the most marginalized among us.

Most residents in Brooklyn, like most of New York City, are poor and working class, with large populations of immigrants and people of color. It was the socialist traditions of poor, persecuted Jewish immigrants to New York City that shaped him, guide him still, and that can still politicize these millions.

Today, we take time to honor the Jewish style and strain of progressive thought that permeated New York in the first two-thirds of the twentieth century and that inspired the righteous and loving political vision of Bernie Sanders, his campaign and the revolution rising around it.


Bernie Sanders at David Sillen’s Bar Mitzvah, via David Sillen
March 2, 2019

Full text: Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign kickoff speech



My experience as a kid, living in a family that struggled economically, powerfully influenced my life and my values. Unlike Donald Trump, who shut down the government and left 800,000 federal employees without income to pay the bills, I know what it’s like to be in a family that lives paycheck to paycheck.

Now it’s true: I did not have a father who gave me millions of dollars to build luxury skyscrapers, casinos and country clubs. I did not come from a family that gave me a $200,000 allowance every year beginning at the age of 3. As I recall, my allowance was 25 cents a week.

But I had something more valuable: I had the role model of a father who had unbelievable courage in journeying across an ocean, with no money in his pocket, to start a new and better life.

I did not come from a family of privilege that prepared me to entertain people on television by telling workers: “You’re fired.” I came from a family who knew all too well the frightening power employers can have over everyday workers.

I did not come from a politically connected family whose multinational corporation got special tax breaks and subsidies. I came from a family where my parents paid their taxes and understood the important role that government plays in a democracy.

I did not come from a family that could afford to send my brother and me to an elite boarding school. In fact, I was educated in high quality public schools here in Brooklyn and began the first year of my college life on this very campus. I should also mention that my brother graduated from Brooklyn College.

Having attended an excellent public college that was then virtually tuition free and living in a rent-controlled apartment, I can assure you that my family believed that government in a democratic society had a very important role to play in protecting working families.

I did not come from a family that taught me to build a corporate empire through housing discrimination. I protested housing discrimination, was arrested for protesting school segregation, and attended Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington for jobs and freedom.

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